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Some of my recipes use bread crumbs. In all cases, I use very dry, fine crumbs.
My wife an I prefer "variety" breads: whole wheat sourdough, cracked wheat, rye, etc. One favorite of mine is a multigrain with sesame and sunflower seeds; Evelyn can't eat this because a digestive condition prohibits her from eating seeds.
With one exception, we use all kinds of bread for bread crumbs (including the seeded multigrain). When a loaf is reduced to merely heels, we place them in our toaster oven and lightly toast them. We leave them in the oven until it's quite cold. Then we set the heels on a tray to air dry. We almost get the equivalent of melba toast. (The same result could be obtained by putting the heels in a regular oven that is still quite warm after cooking something else.)
After the bread has dried for several days, I grind it in a blender. Using a flour sifter, I remove all coarse crumbs and seeds to regrind. The fine crumbs go into a plastic container that we store in our freezer.
The only exception to types of bread is that we do not use any bread containing caraway seeds. Those seeds resist grinding and readily pass through the sifter. If your digestion can tolerate seeds, you do not need to exclude such breads.
When using bread crumbs, we sometimes supplement them with almond meal. This has a texture very similar to bread crumbs and adds a delightful taste to whatever we are cooking. Unfortunately, almond meal seems to be available only at a very few specialty groceries.
Updated 20 December 2012
This is a special topping for broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, or other cooked vegetables.
1 TBS olive oil
1 pat (about 1 tsp) butter
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 TBS dried bread crumbs
In a small pot, heat the olive oil and butter over a medium fire until the butter melts. Sprinkle the garlic powder over the hot oil. Add the bread crumbs and stir continuously while the mixture bubbles for about 1 minute.
Sprinkle the mix over hot vegetables in the serving dish. It might be necessary to toss the vegetables to spread the mix evenly.
If the mix is too dry (not all the crumbs were moistened with oil), add a little more olive oil and cook another 30 seconds. If the mix is runny after turning off the fire, add 1 tsp more crumbs and cook another 30 seconds. Here, "cook" means that the mix bubbles over a medium fire while being stirred.
26 December 2006
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